Darwin 09. Darwin 200. The Evolution Revolution. The Year of Evolution. Or, as AAI President Stuart Bechman calls it, The Year of The Darwin. Whatever you call it, 2009 is a big year for atheism. You could say it’s our coming out party. Two hundred years ago this February 12th the man called Charles Robert Darwin was born, and fifty years later—one hundred fifty years our past—he would publish a work so monumental, and with the evidence to back it up, that the world would never be the same again.
I’m not going to praise Darwin for his accomplishment, as I’ll leave that for the many others here in Secular Nation to do so. No, I’m just going to remind everyone that this is the year where we have the chance to promote ourselves with pride. Much as Eddie Tabash, the 2008 AAI Convention Keynote Speaker says in his speech, transcribed for this issue, about learning from other groups and—if not getting more accepted at least getting more noticed and more powerful—we have the opportunity to shout to the high heavens (excuse the intentionally ironic pun) that “We’re Here. We’re Atheists. Get Used To It!”
So, as I sit here typing (okay, for you younger atheists, that’s old-speak for keyboarding or texting) in my Darwin T-shirt, looking at the “Evolve” Fish emblem on the back of my GMC pickup (which could have several meanings given the state of the American car industry), and with a large picture of Albert Einstein on the wall and a statue of DaVinci’s flying machine on my desk, I say to you, my fellow atheists: STAND UP AND BE HEARD! Get out there and get yourself noticed, whether it’s just by wearing a Darwin, pro-science, pro-evolution or atheist T-shirt (like I did when I went to the polls to vote this past presidential election, or to the market, or to a Little League game); by writing a letter to your newspaper promoting atheism, evolution, and Darwin; or by flying a Darwin flag on your flagpole (that’s me, too). Just get out there.
Or, to co-opt another popular phrase: Just Do It! It’s the Year of The Darwin. Our coming out party. And we’re invincible.
"From the Editor" column, Secular Nation magazine, January-March 2009 issue